Georgia has strict rules regarding Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcies. Different rules will come into play depending on several factors – your personal circumstances, the level of your debt, the assets you own, where you live, etc. You may wish to speak to an attorney before beginning this process!
To file bankruptcy in Georgia, you will need to begin by demonstrating that you you can’t afford to pay back your debts. You do this by taking something called a Means Test.
A means test is a tool to measure your household income against the debts that you owe and their monthly payments. If you can demonstrate that your income is not enough to make your monthly payments, and your income is not consider high, you may qualify to file for bankruptcy.
Your monthly income will be compared to the average income for people living in Georgia. Then the court will consider your monthly expenses like rent, utilities, etc, and determine the amount of your income that could be put towards your debt payments. Finally, your actual debt payments will be considered, to see if you could potentially afford to pay back your debts.
If you have no, or very low, income this is probably contributing to your financial troubles, and that will be taken into account by the means test.
Another piece of the bankruptcy process is an educational course called Debtor Education. The intention of this course is to help you lean how to manage your debts and how to work your way out of debt. This information can be helpful today to potentially help you work your way out of debt, and can also be useful in the future to help you avoid future debt problems.
The Debtor Education class is a requirement in the state of Georgia. Before filing any kind of personal bankruptcy, you must complete this course from a court-approved provider.
One time consuming step of filing bankruptcy is often gathering up your bills, pay stubs, loan documents, bills, etc. Your attorney will tell you which documents you need to gather.
You will likely be gathering these documents and sending them to your attorney from the first day you hire them. Some documents will be required for your means test. Others will be required to help your attorney determine the best course of action for you to take. And before actually filing your bankruptcy with the court house, you will need to have all required documents pulled together.
Many attorneys have people in their office who will work with you to assemble these documents and build your file. You may need to request copies of some things if you have lost them over the years, and the attorney’s staff can help you figure out how to do that.